Celo, North Carolina MM
(Adopted and sent to SAYMA’s annual meeting.) - May 2015
Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association adds its voice to those who are calling for active steps toward ending the continued suffering of the people of Israel and Palestine.
We acknowledge the long history of anti-Semitism and oppression perpetrated by Christians against Jews. Any actions that stereotype or demonize people based on their religious beliefs or ethnicity are contrary to the Friends testimony of equality and have no place among us. As we speak out against the ongoing injustices of Israel’s continuing occupation of the Palestinians our focus must be on the policies of the Israeli government and entities that support the Occupation—not Jews as a people. In fact many Jews are in the vanguard of resisting Israel’s current policies.
…What can we as Friends and as citizens of the United States do to hasten the end of this Occupation that causes so much human suffering and impedes any chance for a negotiated settlement? We advocate the following five actions:
- Since the most acute suffering is currently in war-ravaged Gaza we call first for an end to the Israeli land and sea blockade of Gaza, where there is such desperate need for materials to make rebuilding and restoration possible. We urge Friends to seek ways to help the people of Gaza rebuild their community.
- We commit ourselves to contact our elected representatives in the Senate, the House and in the White House to halt U.S military aid to Israel until Israel has fully withdrawn from the territories occupied in 1967.
- We call on all Friends and other people of goodwill to refuse to purchase products that are manufactured in Israeli settlements on Palestinian land. The Palestinian-initiated Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement currently advocates targeting the following groups:
–Israeli fruit and vegetables, which are often grown using expropriated Palestinian land and water
–SodaStream home carbonation drink machines
–Ahava, a cosmetics company
–Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
–Hewlett-Packard, which runs technology systems for the Israeli government and military, including the ID system installed at Israeli military checkpoints and for the Israeli navy that enforces the siege on Gaza….
–Caterpillar, whose bulldozers are regularly used in the demolition of Palestinian homes and farms and in Israel’s attacks on Gaza. …(The Presbyterian Church USA, the Friends Fiduciary Corporation (FFC) and the Church of England have all divested from Caterpillar [and HP]) .
–Eden Springs bottled water, which operates a plant in an illegal Israeli settlement.
(For more information visit the web site of the BDS Movement at the following link: http://www.bdsmovement.net/ )
4. We commit ourselves to express to the above corporations, through our words and buying choices, our deep opposition to business practices which continue to enable forty-eight years of military occupation being endured by our Palestinian brothers and sisters.